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3/11/2016

Murderer Interviewed, Officials mum on results

JOSH DOOLEY, jdooley@baxterbulletin.com
3:55 p.m. CST March 11, 2016


Two investigators interviewed Gary Parks, police chief, prosecutor decline to comment on results


For three years, there was nothing but silence from convicted killer Gary Parks who promised to cooperate with authorities who believe he had help planning the June 2006 murder of his stepfather, well-known Mountain Home physician David Millstein. Parks was interviewed by investigators once three years ago a few months after his conviction. He did not cooperate.

Almost three weeks after a Feb. 5 Baxter Bulletin article noting Parks still had not provided the promised cooperation, Lt. Eddie Griffin of the Mountain Home Police Department and Lt. Mark Hollingsworth of the Arkansas State Police interviewed Parks, who was transferred from the state Department of CorrectionsVarner Unit to the North Central Unit outside Calico.

Mountain Home Police Chief Carry Manuel confirmed on Monday that Griffin and Hollingsworth interviewed Parks a few weeks ago on Feb. 25 but referred other questions to Baxter County Prosecuting Attorney David Ethredge.

Wednesday, Ethredge declined to say whether Parks was cooperative with investigators.

"This is an open investigation," Ethredge said Wednesday. "The prosecution is taking steps to evaluate what can happen in the future as it relates to Mr. Parks."

Law enforcement officers lead Gary Wayne Parks to a Sheriff’s van for transport to the Baxter County jail after Parks pleaded no contest on April 1, 2013, to a first-degree murder charge in the killing of his stepfather, Dr. David Millstein.

Ethredge said prosecutors next will ask a judge to have Parks brought to Baxter County Circuit Court, something Ethredge said will likely happen within the next two weeks.

"My office will do everything possible at this time to ensure justice is served," Ethredge said. "The Arkansas State Police and the Mountain Home Police Department have worked this case hard and done an extremely good job."

Parks will either satisfy the agreement and have 10 years of his prison sentence suspended, or he will not cooperate and will serve 10 additional years in prison. He served a little more than three years in the Baxter County jail awaiting trial. His electronic DOC records indicate he will be eligible for parole beginning on December 21, 2023 — 10 years and eight months after he was found guilty of first-degree murder.

The deal

In the middle of his April 2013 first-degree murder trial, just before the defense was going to present its case to a Baxter County jury, Parks, 45, accepted the plea agreement. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison. He had faced the possibility of life in prison for stabbing Millstein to death.

The plea agreement  states 10 years of the sentence will suspended upon Parks cooperating with investigators who said they had evidence Parks received help in planning Millstein's murder. Parks, of Germantown, Tennessee, was interviewed in the summer of 2013 by investigators looking for the cooperation Parks promised as part of the plea agreement.

Let me just say this,” Putman said, prior to sentencing Parks in 2013. “I practiced law both as a defense attorney and as a deputy prosecutor, and I think I understand criminal law. I think I understand trying cases, and I know that there’s a lot to be argued on both sides of this case.

Arkansas Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Charles Kokes demonstrates the area of the neck that was cut on Dr. David Millstein’s body during testimony on March 27, 2013, in the Gary Wayne Parks murder trial. Parks was found guilty of the June 2006 murder.  (Photo: Bulletin File)

“Sometimes there has to be compromise. Given this crime, and the way it was committed, the only reason — the only reason — I’m accepting this plea is because of an agreement of full cooperation against potential co-conspirators or accomplices. That is the reason I’m willing to go with this.”
Ron Kincade, then the Baxter County Prosecuting Attorney, weighed in.

“Your honor, if I may make a statement about that,” Kincade said. “I have come to this decision with some reluctance, and all of my staff is not in agreement. I do think we’ve presented evidence to the jury to prove that this defendant killed Dr. Millstein.

“I do this for the family of Dr. Millstein, specifically Aaron and Richard (Millstein’s biological sons). No one in this room, or this community, has lost more than these two young men. This assures one, a conviction. There’s no appeal, the family will have closure,

“It gives us an opportunity to examine and potentially bring to justice others who may have been involved in the murder of Dr. Millstein,” added Kincade. “This plea provides that opportunity.”

There was an additional suspect

One of those who believes Parks did not act alone is now-retired Lt. Nevin Barnes of the Mountain Home Police Department. Barnes was the lead investigator in the Millstein murder case.

“Gary Parks killed Dr. Millstein,” Barnes told The Bulletin immediately following the plea agreement. “During the investigation, we uncovered some facts that indicate someone may have been involved in the planning of the murder. We’re looking at a single suspect at this time. We don’t anticipate others, though that could change if new information came to light.”

Barnes and an investigator with the Arkansas State Police went to the Varner Unit during the summer of 2013 and interviewed Parks, looking for the cooperation Parks promised to give during his sentencing.

Barnes said Parks was not cooperative during that interview, and that no other interview had been conducted.

Barnes said he reported the results of the interview to Kincade, the prosecutor in the case.

“We’re still working on that,” Kincade said in early 2014, regarding gaining cooperation from Parks.“It’s not closed. I don’t want to talk much beyond that. There is, in our opinion, potential to bring charges against others in this case."

Kincade retired at the end of 2014. No more attempts were made to interview Parks during Kincade's tenure. Ethredge took over as Baxter County Prosecuting Attorney. No attempts to interview Parks had been made during Ethredge's time as prosecuting attorney, until shortly after The Bulletin article appeared.

Another murder in the Parks family history

The unnamed suspect authorities believe may have helped plan Millstein’s death could have ties to a murder that occurred in Little Rock almost 20 years ago.

Gary Parks’ biological father, Luther Gerald “Jerry” Parks, was murdered Sept. 26, 1993.


Jerry Parks was driving on Chenal Parkway on the outskirts of Little Rock when another vehicle pulled up beside him.

A witness stated he heard gunshots, and then the second vehicle pulled away at a high rate of speed, according to a police report.

Several 9mm shell casings were found at the scene, Barnes said, noting the murder has never been solved, and the Little Rock Police Department investigation into the crime remains open.

“We have been in contact with Little Rock Police as recently as last week,” Barnes said in January, 2014. “I think they consider the same person a potential suspect in that case as we consider an additional suspect in the Millstein murder.”

Jerry Parks owned a security business that provided protection for the campaign headquarters of Bill Clinton when he first ran for president.

After Jerry Parks’ death, his wife, Lois Jane Parks, who later married Dr. David Millstein, inherited a significant amount of money along with a business, according to Barnes.

After Millstein’s death, Lois Jane Parks Millstein received $500,000 from a life insurance policy taken out on Millstein, according to court documents.

Investigator not totally satisfied

Barnes spent almost seven years working on the Millstein murder case, and while he said he was relieved to see Parks go to prison, he was not entirely satisfied with the outcome.

“Personally, I didn’t feel it was enough,” Barnes said at the time Parks was sentenced. “But, I also understand why the prosecutor did what he did. I respect him and stand with him.”


2/06/2016

Three Years of Silence

http://www.baxterbulletin.com/story/news/local/2016/02/05/three-years-silence-little-effort/79869344/

Gary Parks interviewed once during three years following his murder conviction.

Almost three years of silence. That's what law enforcement officials have received from 45-year-old Gary Wayne Parks. In April of 2013, Baxter County Circuit Court Judge John Putman reluctantly accepted a no-contest plea from Gary Wayne Parks, of Germantown, Tenn., for first-degree murder in connection with the 2006 stabbing death of Dr. David Millstein, Parks’ stepfather.

In the middle of his first-degree murder trial, just before the defense was going to present its case to a Baxter County jury, Parks accepted the plea agreement. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison. He had faced the possibility of life in prison.

The plea agreement  states 10 years of the sentence will suspended upon Parks cooperating with investigators who said they had evidence Parks received help in planning Millstein's murder.

“Let me just say this,” Putman said, prior to sentencing Parks in 2013. “I practiced law both as a defense attorney and as a deputy prosecutor, and I think I understand criminal law. I think I understand trying cases, and I know that there’s a lot to be argued on both sides of this case.

“Sometimes there has to be compromise. Given this crime, and the way it was committed, the only reason — the only reason — I’m accepting this plea is because of an agreement of full cooperation against potential co-conspirators or accomplices. That is the reason I’m willing to go with this.”

“Your honor, if I may make a statement about that,” Kincade said. “I have come to this decision with some reluctance, and all of my staff is not in agreement. I do think we’ve presented evidence to the jury to prove that this defendant killed Dr. Millstein.

“I do this for the family of Dr. Millstein, specifically Aaron and Richard (Millstein’s biological sons). No one in this room, or this community, has lost more than these two young men. This assures one, a conviction. There’s no appeal, the family will have closure,

Kincade told the judge. “I’m well aware the defense has evidence to present, and the case is only half over. We owe a debt to the family.”

“It gives us an opportunity to examine and potentially bring to justice others who may have been involved in the murder of Dr. Millstein,” added Kincade. “This plea provides that opportunity.”

There was an additional suspect

One of those who believes Parks did not act alone is former Lt. Nevin Barnes of the Mountain Home Police Department who has retired since Parks' trial. Barnes was the lead investigator in the Millstein murder case.

“Gary Parks killed Dr. Millstein,” Barnes told The Bulletin immediately following the plea agreement. “During the investigation, we uncovered some facts that indicate someone may have been involved in the planning of the murder. We’re looking at a single suspect at this time. We don’t anticipate others, though that could change if new information came to light.”

Barnes and an investigator with the Arkansas State Police went to the Varner Unit during the summer of 2013 and interviewed Parks, looking for the cooperation Parks promised to give during his sentencing.

Barnes said Parks was not cooperative during that interview, and that no other interview has been conducted.

Barnes said he reported the results of the interview to Kincade, the prosecutor in the case.

“We’re still working on that,” Kincade said in early 2014, regarding gaining cooperation from Parks.“It’s not closed. I don’t want to talk much beyond that. There is, in our opinion, potential to bring charges against others in this case."



“Gary Parks killed Dr. Millstein,” Barnes told The Bulletin immediately following the plea agreement. “During the investigation, we uncovered some facts that indicate someone may have been involved in the planning of the murder. We’re looking at a single suspect at this time. We don’t anticipate others, though that could change if new information came to light.”

Barnes and an investigator with the Arkansas State Police went to the Varner Unit during the summer of 2013 and interviewed Parks, looking for the cooperation Parks promised to give during his sentencing.

Barnes said Parks was not cooperative during that interview, and that no other interview has been conducted.

Barnes said he reported the results of the interview to Kincade, the prosecutor in the case.

“We’re still working on that,” Kincade said in early 2014, regarding gaining cooperation from Parks.“It’s not closed. I don’t want to talk much beyond that. There is, in our opinion, potential to bring charges against others in this case."


Kincade retired at the end of 2014. No more attempts were made to interview Parks during Kincade's tenure. Mountain Home attorney David Ethredge took over as Baxter County Prosecuting Attorney. No attempts to interview Parks have been made during Ethredge's time as prosecuting attorney.

Mountain Home police and the Arkansas State Police continue to monitor the case, according to Carry Manuel, chief of the Mountain Home Police Department. Manuel said an ASP investigator had been in contact with his department regarding potentially interviewing Parks again.

"We have been in contact with the Arkansas State Police and we've been in contact with the prosecutor," Manuel said last week about the case. "Any other questions need to be addressed to the prosecutor."

The prosecutor did not immediately return a call asking for comment regarding the Parks case.
Parks remains in the Varner Unit of the Arkansas Department of Corrections. His electronic records indicate he is not eligible for parole until 2023, leaving authorities plenty of time to interview him regarding a potential accomplice.

Another murder in the Parks family history

The unnamed suspect authorities believe may have helped plan Millstein’s death could have ties to a murder that occurred in Little Rock almost 20 years ago.

Gary Parks’ biological father, Luther Gerald “Jerry” Parks, was murdered Sept. 26, 1993.
Jerry Parks was driving on Chenal Parkway on the outskirts of Little Rock when another vehicle pulled up beside him.

A witness stated he heard gunshots, and then the second vehicle pulled away at a high rate of speed, according to a police report.

Several 9mm shell casings were found at the scene, Barnes said, noting the murder has never been solved, and the Little Rock Police Department investigation into the crime remains open.

“We have been in contact with Little Rock Police as recently as last week,” Barnes said in January, 2014. “I think they consider the same person a potential suspect in that case as we consider an additional suspect in the Millstein murder.”

Jerry Parks owned a security business that provided protection for the campaign headquarters of Bill Clinton when he first ran for president.

After Jerry Parks’ death, his wife, Lois Jane Parks, who later married Dr. David Millstein, inherited a significant amount of money along with a business, according to Barnes.

After Millstein’s death, Lois Jane Parks Millstein received $500,000 from a life insurance policy taken out on Millstein, according to court documents.

Investigator not totally satisfied

Barnes spent almost seven years working on the Millstein murder case, and while he said he was relieved to see Parks go to prison, he was not entirely satisfied with the outcome.

“Personally, I didn’t feel it was enough,” Barnes said at the time Parks was sentenced. “But, I also understand why the prosecutor did what he did. I respect him and stand with him.”

Parks will have to serve a total of 15 years before he is eligible for parole, Kincade said at the time.
Parks served a little more than three years in the Baxter County jail awaiting trial. His electronic DOC records indicate he will be eligible for parole beginning on December 21, 2023, 10 years and eight months after he was found guilty of first-degree murder.

                           

5/23/2014

Clinton Associate Murdered Execution Style

10 More Arkansas Unsolved Mysteries

A well known, quasi-political figure around Arkansas in the late 1980's and early 90's, Luther Gerald Parks "Jerry" Parks, Jr. oversaw Bill Clinton's security detail while Clinton was Governor. Parks' security firm was later contracted to guard Clinton's security firm was later contracted to guard Clinton's Presidential Campaign Headquarters in 1992. 

But only nine months after Clinton won the White House, Parks was gunned down in West Little Rock. Parks was leaving El Chico when he was ambushed by two men in a white Chevrolet Caprice at the intersection of Chenal and Highway 10, where witnesses say the men shot Parks to death before speeding away. The only evidence left behind were 10 9-mm bullet casing scattered on the pavement.
Clinton's far-right critics pounced on the murder. They said it had political overtones, pointing to the untimely suicide of Vincent Foster, a childhood friend of Clinton's and one of his closest allies, only months earlier as evidence of a connection.

Parks' son, Gary, also tried to link Clinton to the murders. He claimed that his father had collected a file on Clinton's salacious activities and that he was subsequently executed because of its contents. The Little Rock Police Department dismissed such claims as "Unsubstantiated".


Adding another twist in the case, Gary was recently charged with the murder of his mother's new husband, Dr. David Millstein. Police in Baxter County think Gary had help,and they believe that the unnamed suspect might also have ties to Jerry's murder. Despite the passing of two decades, LRPD's investigation into the elder Parks' muder is ongoing.



1/14/2014

Timeline

Millstein Murder Timeline


June 18, 2006 — Mountain Home police discover Dr. David Millstein’s body after being asked to check on his welfare.

Dec. 8, 2009 — Police arrest Gary Wayne Parks on a charge of capital murder for the stabbing death of Millstein, his stepfather.

January 2012 — Baxter County Prosecutor Ron Kincade announces the state will not seek the death penalty for Millstein's murder.

2011-2012 — Parks’ trial is delayed three times, twice at the request of defense attorneys, who asked for more preparation time and once because of new testimony expected to be presented.

March 25, 2013 — Gary Wayne Parks’ capital murder trial begins with jury selection.

April 1, 2013 — Gary Wayne Parks enters a no-contest plea to a reduced charge of first-degree murder and is sentenced to 30 years in prison, with 10 years suspended if he cooperates with investigators, who say he may have had help in planning Millstein’s death, and want Parks to tell them about any accomplice or co-conspirator.

April 4, 2013 — Gary Wayne Parks is taken to the Varner Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction.

Summer 2013 — Police say Gary Wayne Parks is not cooperative during interview regarding any potential accomplices.




1/13/2014

Did Gary Parks use the system?

http://www.baxterbulletin.com/article/20140113/NEWS01/301130020/Did-Gary-Parks-use-system-

Written by: Josh Dooley

In April of last year, Baxter County Circuit Court Judge John Putman reluctantly accepted a no-contest plea from Gary Wayne Parks, of Germantown, Tenn., for first-degree murder in connection with the 2006 stabbing death of Dr. David Millstein, Parks’ stepfather.

“Let me just say this,” Putman said, prior to sentencing Parks. “I practiced law both as a defense attorney and as a deputy prosecutor, and I think I understand criminal law. I think I understand trying cases, and I know that there’s a lot to be argued on both sides of this case.


“Sometimes there has to be compromise. Given this crime, and the way it was committed, the only reason — the only reason — I’m accepting this plea is because of an agreement of full cooperation against potential co-conspirators or accomplices. That is the reason I’m willing to go with this.”


Following his sentencing, Parks was eventually placed in the Varner Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction.


Prosecutors argued Parks killed Millstein over money, and that they believed Parks had help. Prior to Putman sentencing Parks, Baxter County Prosecuting Attorney Ron Kincade told the judge why the plea offer was made.


“Your honor, if I may make a statement about that,” Kincade said. “I have come to this decision with some reluctance, and all of my staff is not in agreement. I do think we’ve presented evidence to the jury to prove that this defendant killed Dr. Millstein.


“I do this for the family of Dr. Millstein, specifically Aaron and Richard (Millstein’s biological sons). No one in this room, or this community, has lost more than these two young men. This assures one, a conviction. There’s no appeal, the family will have closure,” Kincade told the judge. “I’m well aware the defense has evidence to present, and the case is only half over. We owe a debt to the family.”


“It gives us an opportunity to examine and potentially bring to justice others who may have been involved in the murder of Dr. Millstein,” added Kincade. “This plea provides that opportunity.”






There was an additional suspect


One of those who believes Parks did not act alone is Lt. Nevin Barnes of the Mountain Home Police Department. Barnes was the lead investigator in the Millstein murder case.

“Gary Parks killed Dr. Millstein,” Barnes told The Bulletin after Parks was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the killing. “During the investigation, we uncovered some facts that indicate someone may have been involved in the planning of the murder. We’re looking at a single suspect at this time. We don’t anticipate others, though that could change if new information came to light.”

Barnes and an investigator with the Arkansas State Police went to the Varner Unit during the summer and interviewed Parks, looking for the cooperation Parks promised to give during his sentencing.

Barnes said Parks was not cooperative during that interview, and that no other interview has been conducted. Barnes said he reported the results of the interview to Kincade, the prosecutor in the case.

“We’re still working on that,” Kincade said Friday, regarding gaining cooperation from Parks. “It’s not closed. I don’t want to talk much beyond that. There is, in our opinion, potential to bring charges against others in this case.”

A cold case gets new life


The unnamed suspect authorities believe may have helped plan Millstein’s death could have ties to a murder that occurred in Little Rock almost 20 years ago. Gary Parks’ biological father, Luther Gerald “Jerry” Parks, was murdered Sept. 26, 1993.

Jerry Parks was driving on Chenal Parkway on the outskirts of Little Rock when another vehicle pulled up beside him. A witness stated he heard gunshots, and then the second vehicle pulled away at a high rate of speed, according to a police report.

Several 9mm shell casings were found at the scene, Barnes said, noting the murder has never been solved, and the Little Rock Police Department investigation into the crime remains open.

“We have been in contact with Little Rock Police as recently as last week,” Barnes said. “I think they consider the same person a potential suspect in that case as we consider an additional suspect in the Millstein murder.

Jerry Parks owned a security business that provided protection for the campaign headquarters of Bill Clinton when he first ran for president. After Jerry Parks’ death, his wife, Lois Jane Parks, who later married Dr. David Millstein, inherited a significant amount of money along with a business, according to Barnes.

After Millstein’s death, Lois Jane Parks Millstein received $500,000 from a life insurance policy taken out on Millstein, according to court documents.

Investigator not totally satisfied


Barnes has spent almost seven years working on the Millstein murder, and while he said he was relieved to see Parks go to prison, he was not entirely satisfied with the outcome.
“Personally, I didn’t feel it was enough,” Barnes said of the sentence Parks received. “But, I also understand why the prosecutor did what he did. I respect him and stand with him.” 

Parks will have to serve a total of 15 years before he is eligible for parole, according to Kincade.  Parks already had served a little more than three years in the Baxter County jail awaiting trial. With Putman granting him credit for time already served, Parks could spend slightly less than 12 years in prison for Millstein’s murder.